Protests have been ongoing in Iran for the past 10 weeks, precipitated by a woman who was beaten and killed by authorities for ‘improperly’ wearing her hijab. To prevent citizens from seeing the protests, seeing them spread, and feeling confident in defying the regime, internet access in the country has been limited. Their Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, says these “riots” are in fact war perpetrated by foreign governments and dissidents.
Mahan Air flight attendant Sanz Keshavarz, who worked the Airbus A340, reportedly took part in protests and was killed by the government in response. The airline – which is said to work closely with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – has been said to warn all of their employees who attended the woman’s funeral that they could be prosecuted.
I was told that the Security Department of #MahanAir has threatened all of the personnel of the airline who attended burial of #SanazKeshavarz yesterday. They are thratened to arrest & prosecution by #IRGC Intelligence Organization of #Iranian regime.#MahsaAmini #مهسا_امینی pic.twitter.com/09z3cLE5MU
— Babak Taghvaee – The Crisis Watch (@BabakTaghvaee1) November 29, 2022
All over Iran, women are standing up to Ali Khamenei and the oppressive regime in Iran.
#Iran, city of Mashhad, college student chanting, “You are the Pervert; I Am The Free Woman”!
— Nasrin Saifi (@NassrinSaifi) November 20, 2022
North Khorasan Province, Iran.
— Shahram≠ (@BehdinEran) November 22, 2022
One of the most important ideas in social change is that the outcome of a revolution is never predictable. That’s because people support a regime – until they don’t. And they don’t when (1) it becomes safe to reveal their true preferences (against the regime), which snowballs into (2) actual supporters of a regime abandoning it, and acting as though they’re supporters of a new reality.
This is the Timur Kuran idea in Private Truths, Public Lies, and Kuran notes that an “anti-regime uprising does not need a leader to succeed. Witness East Germany 1989, Romania 1989, and Egypt 2011. It suffices for the regime to split. Leaders can emerge as the regime collapses.” Perhaps Iran has gone too far now that they’re considering banning household pets?
Kuran notes that Turkish media are not able to cover protests in China and Iran, out of fear those protests might spread to oppose their own strongman Erdoğan. Chinese protests were triggered by Covid lockdowns, after people were left to die in a fire while held inside their apartment. Many of these anti-lockdown protesters are, ironically, wearing masks for reasons other than Covid. They make facial recognition more difficult.
Turkey’s Erdoğan-captured media (which serve 95% of Turks) are giving almost no coverage to protests in Iran or China. Evidently, Erdoğan fears that they will inspire protests against his own policies and his rule.
— Timur Kuran (@timurkuran) November 29, 2022
China crushed Hong Kong protests but people all over the world are speaking up for freedom and against oppression.